LIFE Scholarship provides life-changing opportunities for AUB students
February 13, 2019
The Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) Scholarship has provided generous support to 27 undergraduate and graduate students at AUB majoring in business and finance since it was established in 2010. Many of these students have received multiple-year scholarship support—and also benefited from the valuable networking and career opportunities that LIFE provides. Ahmad Kassem (MF ’15), who is currently a bank manager, is one of them. He remembers “entering LIFE””—as he puts it—as an ambitious AUB student pursuing a master’s in finance. “Being selected for this scholarship was an honor,” he says. LIFE has impacted Ahmad’s “whole life” in many ways, but it’s the mentoring that he most appreciates. “My mentor was there from the very beginning—as an advisor and someone who guided me at every step along the way.”
Reina Yammine (BBA ’12), who is now completing a graduate degree at INSEAD, received a LIFE scholarship as an undergraduate student at AUB. She says that getting to know “brilliant people who have built stellar global careers” encouraged her to “dream big.” She was even more impressed though by “the dedication, generosity, humbleness, mutual support, and sense of vision that LIFE members have.” After spending six years working in China, India, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, she decided to go back to school for an MBA. “My success is due in no small part to the example set by the members of LIFE and the vote of confidence you receive when you are selected to receive the scholarship. I want very much to fulfill the expectations that LIFE has for me,” she says.
“It was a game-changer.” That’s how Ghassan Abi Fadel (MBA ’15) describes receiving a LIFE scholarship in YEAR to pursue an MBA at AUB. “That scholarship—and all the support and benefits that came with it—gave me the confidence to chase bigger opportunities.” Ghassan moved quickly to chase that bigger opportunity. He is now the co-founder of Moodfit, the first online interior design platform in the MENA region, that he set up with AUB alumni Mohamad Sabouneh and Tarek Jaroudi in 2016. This successful online venture recently received $400,000 as seed investment from Seeders Angel Group, IM Capital, Middle East Venture Partners, and iSME Capital.
“The support and opportunities that LIFE provides for students like Ahmad, Reina, and Ghassan are exceptional,” says VP for Advancement Imad Baalbaki, “and has such an extraordinary impact on them and our university.” The scholarship program is just one of the ways that LIFE is benefiting Lebanon. “We have three themes that guide our work: connect, nurture, and promote,” explains Lara Koro, education programme manager. “We connect donors and scholarship students around the world through our LIFE network; we nurture the next generation by providing scholarships, mentorship, job counseling, etc.; and we promote by organizing activities to encourage investment in Lebanon,” explains Lara Koro.
“What I’m most proud of at LIFE is our students,” says Nadine Massoud, chief executive officer. “They are all—every one of them—paying back, contributing to their communities, and helping to fund scholarships so that others can enjoy the benefits they so appreciate. They are already having an impact. It is inspiring.”
AUB has been partnering with LIFE in recent years and matches every dollar that it contributes to the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) Scholarship Fund.